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Valve Announces the Steam Deck Handheld Gaming Device

Valve Announces the Steam Deck Handheld Gaming Device

By Ambia Staley

If you've been wanting to play some of your favourite Steam games on the go, you'll want to check out Valve's Steam Deck, the company's long-rumoured handheld gaming device coming this winter.

The new device boasts portability met with power, as the company has partnered with AMD to create a custom APU optimized for handheld gaming. It claims to be able to run the latest AAA games in a "very efficient power envelope". You'll be able to access your entire Steam library once you log into the Steam Deck just like you would on a PC.

The system's controls might be a little different than what you're used to with other handheld devices, as the Steam Deck has different control options, including two thumbsticks near the top of the device, as well as a pair of trackpads underneath -- which The Verge mentions could bring more precision for things like first-person shooter titles.

The Steam Deck also includes a 7" screen, two built-in speakers, a mic, and headphone jack. You'll also be able to connect your device to external displays, wired networking, USB peripherals, power with the official dock, which will be sold separately at a later time.

You can start reserving the Steam Deck online as of July 16 at 10 AM PDT (1 PM ET) and the system will begin shipping in Canada in December 2021. There are three different purchase options for the system, and we've listed them for you below.

64GB eMMC for $499.00:

  • Includes a carrying case

256GB NVMe SSD for $659.00:

  • Faster Storage
  • Includes a carrying case
  • Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle

512GB NVMe SSD for $819.00:

  • Fastest Storage
  • Premium anti-glare etched glass
  • Exclusive carrying case
  • Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle
  • Exclusive virtual keyboard theme

You can learn more about the Steam Deck on the official Steam Deck website, or check out the handy FAQ posted on Reddit.

39 Comments

    • Wow this came outta nowhere, mid-tier looks like the best bang for buck.
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    • With game sizes nowadays 512GB seems like the obvious choice, but over $800 ouch. How well SD cards would work to expand the base 64GB model? I guess we need to compare some SD speeds to hdd speeds to get an idea, I think hdd speeds would be acceptable rather than trying to go up against SSD speeds.

      Samsung EVO 512GB are around $100 and claim up to 100MB/s (megabytes per second) read speed. Another example that's on sale right now for the same price is Sandisk Extreme 512GB which claims up to 160MB/s. That range is similar to hdd's isn't it? So maybe we can think that SD cards will give us 512GB of expansion at roughly hdd speeds for $100? Does that sound realistic?
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    • Does it also do gamestreaming, kind of like how nVidia Shield Portable as well?
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    • What a hot deal!
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    • coriolis wrote: Does it also do gamestreaming, kind of like how nVidia Shield Portable as well?
      its a fully featured handheld PC, you can do whatever you want including reformatting the system and installing windows or linux, but out of the box I would imagine it supports steam link
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    • coriolis wrote: Does it also do gamestreaming, kind of like how nVidia Shield Portable as well?
      In their FAQ it says
      The default Steam Deck experience requires a Steam account (it's free!). Games are purchased and downloaded using the Steam Store. That said, Steam Deck is a PC so you can install third party software and operating systems.
      So maybe? I really like Steam/Valve's approach to hardware, like when they got into VR, they are OK with stuff being just peripherals and not everything having to be 100% tied to a service like most companies nowadays.
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    • OP, you should add this to the main post for anyone wanting to pre-order:

      "If you want to preorder a Steam Deck (beginning at 1 pm ET on Friday, July 16), you'll need to use a Steam account that has "made a purchase on Steam prior to June 2021 for the first 48 hours of reservation availability."
    • Report Post
    • Looks good. Would need to research up on battery times and how well it'll be able to handle certain games. That is always the issue. Plus heating/ventilation might be an issue. So not sure i'd pull the trigger on this out of the gate.
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    • orbitdesign wrote: OP, you should add this to the main post for anyone wanting to pre-order:

      "If you want to preorder a Steam Deck (beginning at 1 pm ET on Friday, July 16), you'll need to use a Steam account that has "made a purchase on Steam prior to June 2021 for the first 48 hours of reservation availability."
      I realize it would be a jerk move and they would never do it, but to really cut down on scalping, if they had kept this secret and only revealed it when you went to order :). Would have been very frustrating for some legit buyers, but a funny surprise for scalpers, and it would have been fun to read that news tomorrow.
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    • hystavito wrote: I realize it would be a jerk move and they would never do it, but to really cut down on scalping, if they had kept this secret and only revealed it when you went to order :). Would have been very frustrating for some legit buyers, but a funny surprise for scalpers, and it would have been fun to read that news tomorrow.
      True, but at least they back-dated it to last month and with an actual game purchase and not just an unused account.
    • Report Post
    • hystavito wrote: I realize it would be a jerk move and they would never do it, but to really cut down on scalping, if they had kept this secret and only revealed it when you went to order :). Would have been very frustrating for some legit buyers, but a funny surprise for scalpers, and it would have been fun to read that news tomorrow.
      we're already past june though... so scalpers would have to scramble and rent accounts from gamers?
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    • This would be great playing with Steam Link pc streaming, and other cloud gaming services, i'm sure it would be compatible with all (Stadia, PSNow, GFN, xCloud, Shadow, etc). imo they should've made this like the Switch and have a removeable gamepad to turn it into a tablet, then use a gamepad holder so I can use my Xbox one elite controller. but I can understand if they use the whole back part of the housing for the battery, etc.
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    • ManCaveGamer wrote: this would be great playing with Steam Link and other cloud gaming services, i'm sure it would be compatible with all (Stadia, PSNow, GFN, xCloud, Shadow, etc). imo they should've made this like the Switch and have a removeable gamepad to turn it into a tablet, then use a gamepad holder so i can use my Xbox one elite controller. but I can understand if they use the whole back part of the housing for the battery, etc.
      Why not just go with the Razer Kishi or Game Sir x2 at that point with a large screen phone? Around 6" of screen space, and functions like a switch for game streaming... or take the pad off and connect a BT controller to play that way.
    • Report Post
    • Looks really good if you look it as a hand held PC gaming but kind of expensive if you look at it in terms of console.

      Great for people who already have a steam library and want to play it on the go.

      Also likely will be able to emulate many retro/not so retro consoles. Thing is quite powerful for a handheld.

      Just don't really know about how comfortable it is for long term use and how much battery life you'd actually get.
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    • hmm, so with this now I can finally play PSO2: NS which my 10 years old ass PC couldn't 😂
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    • Looks neat but not sure it's enough to pre-order. I'll consider it when the reviews are out and if I don't get one close to launch I'm sure I'll get one during the fire sale later
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    • GET minimum 256GB. Thank me later.

      As it's NVMe which means faster

      Best bang for buck aswell
    • Report Post
    • coriolis wrote: Does it also do gamestreaming, kind of like how nVidia Shield Portable as well?
      Yes via steam streaming thing and the GeForce thing.
    • Report Post
    • hystavito wrote: In their FAQ it says So maybe? I really like Steam/Valve's approach to hardware, like when they got into VR, they are OK with stuff being just peripherals and not everything having to be 100% tied to a service like most companies nowadays.
      I absolutely love steam and valve as a company. I don't remember once they've f'd over consumers.

      Look at the making of Half Life Alyx. Great company
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    • tiboi wrote: hmm, so with this now I can finally play PSO2: NS which my 10 years old ass PC couldn't 😂
      Yes. You can play any modern game at medium settings.

      Think of it as a ps4 pro or xbox one
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    • Alphabet7 wrote: I absolutely love steam and valve as a company. I don't remember once they've f'd over consumers.

      Look at the making of Half Life Alyx. Great company
      Someone is going to argue this :)

      I propose we try to keep this thread focused on specs, pricing, value, etc. and yes I am already guilty of not doing so :)
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    • This worth it to play PUBG for pc alone!
    • Report Post
    • I wonder if this will be sold at the usual retailers like Best Buy/Walmart/Amazon?
    • Report Post
    • Get the mid-level one with 256GB NVMe drive MINIMUM.
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    • From the landing page
      Once you've logged into Steam Deck, your entire Steam Library shows up, just like any other PC. You'll be able to find your collections and favorites - exactly where you left them.
      That sounds like no game's off limit right? If it's on Steam it's playable?
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    • Yet another piece of Steam hardware that will no doubt fail as everything else has so far. Wish they would get back into making games over hardware
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    • There's a lot of games that only have mouse & keyboard support only... so that's gonna be interesting.
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    • trinxified wrote: I wonder if this will be sold at the usual retailers like Best Buy/Walmart/Amazon?
      Index isn't so it wouldn't shock me if this wasn't, especially anywhere near launch.
      Plus there's no point in giving retailers a cut of the pie when they don't have to.
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    • LoANeal wrote: Yet another piece of Steam hardware that will no doubt fail as everything else has so far. Wish they would get back into making games over hardware
      Yup, 720p resolution ain't going to cut it in 2021..
    • Report Post
    • Jimboski wrote: Yup, 720p resolution ain't going to cut it in 2021..
      But the Switch is like this...
    • Report Post
    • 1280x800 res says that it might not be powerful enough to drive VR to something like a Quest. That'd be as hot as it was in Western Canada if I could drive it nicely though.
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    • trinxified wrote: But the Switch is like this...
      Switch has a dedicated publisher of games you can't get anywhere else supporting it (Mario, Zelda, etc.) where as this device will have zero support from steam for exclusives (and if they do it will be 3-5+ years before we see them) or the like that would drive people to buy it and really will be another forgotten relic in a couple years time like Steam Machines and various other failed projects they take on.

      Make games, stop making useless junk hardware no one will buy Valve I beg of you...
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    • trinxified wrote: But the Switch is like this...
      Nintendo has optimized their games to run on 720p well and it's the only way to play the Nintendo exclusives. Apparently there's a Switch OLED now which has a bigger screen and 1080p resolution. Pre-orders just came out today, set to ship out in October and the price is $350 which is lower.

      In order to play AAA titles sold on Steam they had to bump down the resolution otherwise two things, the game won't run smoothly at all OR if it does the battery life will be trash lol. It states that the hardware can game from 2-8 hours, 2 hour game time is *puke*.

      Also since it uses your steam library presumably you have a PC capable to run it, personally a hard sell to get this imo..
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    • Jimboski wrote: Apparently there's a Switch OLED now which has a bigger screen and 1080p resolution.
      Bigger screen, but still 720p
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    • death_hawk wrote: 1280x800 res says that it might not be powerful enough to drive VR to something like a Quest. That'd be as hot as it was in Western Canada if I could drive it nicely though.
      Definitely not enough for PCVR. GPU is 1.6TF and a 1070 is about the minimum you'd want, which is 6.5TF.
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    • rugerty100 wrote: Bigger screen, but still 720p
      Yup your right, some news sites mentioned 1080p but didn't mention that was docked.
    • Report Post
    • LoANeal wrote: Switch has a dedicated publisher of games you can't get anywhere else supporting it (Mario, Zelda, etc.) where as this device will have zero support from steam for exclusives (and if they do it will be 3-5+ years before we see them) or the like that would drive people to buy it and really will be another forgotten relic in a couple years time like Steam Machines and various other failed projects they take on.
      This thing can pretty much run anything 3rd party from anyone on a mobile handheld, thats pretty good of a selling point. Switch can only run Nintendo games and the relatively smaller number of ports. Who cares about "exclusives"?
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    • This one will offer a dock too, but sold separately... Very expensive to invest in this unless you have a healthy Steam library already and don't actually use Xbox/PS consoles either.

      The upside of course is playing those same Xbox/PS games (non-exclusives) on-the-go. Though there are cloud gaming services that kinda already do this, so that's another sour point.
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    • I'm interested. I am already invested in the Aya Neo, but this Deck thing is half the price. I'd rather dualboot with Windows, and run my emulators on it. Can it play PS3? That would be pretty compelling.
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